Local first responders receive thousands in federal grant money

LA CROSSE (WKBT)- Coulee Region first responders are getting more than $2 million of federal grant money to better serve their communities.

The money is coming from the federal government’s American Rescue Plan Act.

EMS services had to apply for the grants. The amount they receive is based on their specific needs.

The state of Wisconsin in total is receiving $32 million of ARPA funds. These are one-time grants, so first responders are using them for tools, not staff salaries.

State Rep. Jill Billings (D-WI) says between 2011 and 2021 La Crosse County reported a 70 percent increase in 9-1-1 calls.

These grants will help first responders avoid making difficult budget cuts.

“These people are putting their lives on the line to keep us safe,” said State Rep. Steve Doyle (D-WI). “We owe them an obligation back to make sure they are safe and have the tools available to save our lives.”

The Town of Shelby Fire Department is getting just over $37,000, money it will use to buy a new CPR device and protective gear.

Click here to see the full list of recipients.